Considering Hematocrit Numbers As a Strategy Used by a DUI Lawyer in Vermont

The level of hematocrit, or blood cell volume, is a strategy that might be used by a DUI lawyer in Vermont in certain circumstances. Hematocrit affects breath test results and can sometimes invalidate the reading. A breathalyzer is calibrated for blood cell volume, but there are significant differences in hematocrit readings between men and women. People with a lower hematocrit can have a breath test showing their blood alcohol level (BAC) much higher than it actually is.

Blood Composition

Hematocrit is the solid content of blood, including red and white cells as well as platelets. The rest of the blood is plasma, a liquid. The range of hematocrit for women is typically from about 36 to 44 percent while, for men, the range is about 41 to 50 percent. A wider range that is considered normal runs from 37 to 47 for women and 42 to 52 for men. Calibration for breath testing equipment tries to even out this difference by setting the expected hematocrit at 45 percent. But, that number favors men.

Alcohol and Plasma

Alcohol is attracted to liquid and dissolves more readily in it, which means the plasma content of blood has a higher BAC than the solid components do. A DUI lawyer in Vermont may call a breath test into question for this reason when defending a female client, especially if the BAC reading was borderline.


Anemia also elevates the amount of plasma in the blood. In fact, a doctor who suspects anemia in a patient will probably order a hematocrit test to check blood cell volume. Numbers below the normal range may indicate the patient has anemia. Women are more susceptible to this condition than men are. A person who has been diagnosed with anemia just before or after being charged with DUI should tell the lawyer, as that might be useful in the case.

A lawyer such as Jason J. Sawyer will use a strategy involving hematocrit levels when it’s appropriate and is likely to work in the client’s favor. This is more commonly applied to female clients. Check out website to learn about this particular organization.

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